An Update

We quietly did some behind-the-scenes work to shore up our results page from last year. Our statewide results had only been “complete” (complete as in what Brant had reported to him and what I dug up on Track in a school-by-school search, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds) through Week 8 of the season. After which, personal stuff got in the way and I just focused on what I could focus on, which at that time was not very much.

So this week we fixed that with more duals from Weeks 9-11. I don’t know how many duals we posted from the statewide scene, but let’s just go with “a lot.”

I am emailing another blast email to the coaches on Monday. We have the first draft complete on six of our 11 TurkeyNWrestling previews. We are in need of about 30-odd schedules. While the Gulfside coaches scramble to recover from Michael, and I’m perfectly happy with giving them a pass on that front for some time yet, they’re not the only ones who need to send theirs in. I’m missing more than I would like from this side of the state, too. If you want to know if your favorite team is in or not in, I list who’s in by alphabetical order and who’s not in by district. No districts are complete. Two are very close (down to just one team), and two more have just two left.

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#TheCalendar2018-19: Englewood – 33 TO GO

Englewood’s dates were the ones sent over by Brant on Tuesday morning. The Rams are the fifth team in 2A-District 3 that we have in hand.

Englewood will open the season on December 7-8, the first weekend of the year, with its traditional appearance in Terry Parker’s two-day IBT, the Arlington Optimist Invitational. The Rams go to another tournament for their first duals action of the competitive season, with a trip to Orange Park for a rare Friday duals event, the Raider 6-Way, on the 14th, and will complete their December itinerary with a road tri-meet at Gateway Conference rival Wolfson, at which Creekside will also be in attendance.

The Rams will kick off January with FHSAA dual team district action, as 2A-District 3 will congregate at Ridgeview on the 9th. From there, Englewood will go back to Terry Parker for the Braves’ annual two-day tournament, the Army Duals, on the 11th and 12th. They’ll be in IBT action on the 18th and 19th along with the rest of the Gateway at Sandalwood, and back at Parker on the 25th and 26th for another two-day tournament, the Parker Duals.

There are three regular-season events on the docket for February, starting with the Rams’ lone home meet of the season, a single dual against Robert E. Lee on the 6th. That weekend, on the 8th and 9th, Englewood will compete in Sandalwood’s inaugural Bell-Raulerson Invitational, a two-day IBT. The regular season wraps with the Rams on the road at Stanton for a single dual on the 13th.

That’s 42 schedules in hand, with (at most) 33 to go. Which team will be next? Will it be YOUR TEAM??

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#TheCalendar2018-19: Bradford – 34 TO GO

We got two schedules today, one overnight from Brant and another one that we saw posted on Facebook today. We have a question out to a tournament host on one of them, so we have gone ahead with our Facebook-viewed team.

That’s Bradford, our sixth team in 1A-District 4 (just FSDB still out, and they have a new coach with a familiar name coming back). The Tornadoes are headed up by Stewart Roberts, who has been an assistant the past couple seasons. Bradford is our 41st schedule overall.

The season will begin for the Tornadoes on the first weekend of December, but they’ll be hitting the road for the Orlando area’s Battle for the Blacktop, hosted by The Master’s Academy on the 7th and 8th. Bradford will host Keystone Heights in a home-and-home series, with the Tornadoes’ home date set for the 13th. It will close out 2018 with a trip to Inverness and Citrus HS’ Rob Hermann Hurricane Cup Duals, just before Christmas on the 21st and 22nd.

FHSAA post-season competition will be on the docket to open January, with the Tornadoes joining in on 1A-District 4 team dual competition at Bolles on the 9th. Next up will be the two-day roundrobin Billy Saylor Invitational, hosted by Suwannee on the 11th and 12th. After a possibility of region duals on the 17th, Bradford will road-trip to Tallahassee for Lincoln’s one-day IBT, the Trojan Invitational, on the 19th. Bradford will then host Baker County (and possibly also West Nassau) on the 23rd to wrap up that month.

There are two regular-season events on Bradford’s February itinerary. First of those is Gainesville’s Category V Duals, which has been noted as both a one- and a two-day duals tournament the first weekend. Either way, the regular season will come to an end on February 7, when the Tornadoes will compete in the away half of its home-and-home dual with Keystone Heights.

We have our 42nd schedule, but…which one will be 43? Will it be YOUR TEAM??

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So I got a text message last night upon which I had to do some reflecting.

A year ago and change, my world started being rocked with some serious body blows. I have not fully recovered from all of them, but Hurricane Irma was the first of them and, in some ways, the easiest one.

I was lucky. My neighbor across the hall lost all of her possessions. My neighbors, upstairs, who rode out the flooding that ravaged our neighborhood during and immediately after the storm, lost their cars. Insurance made them whole, of course, but none of them are in my building any longer. I rode out the immediate aftermath at my (now ex-) girlfriend’s house (yes, that was another body blow) and I only had to wait two weeks for a new air conditioner and hot water heater. The Fabiani family (God bless them, wherever they are now) came and helped me clean my place.

So we lived like, essentially, 1970s-era Eastern Europeans for a couple of weeks while we waited for First World luxuries.

My son and I were lucky. But even in our state of luckiness/blessedness, with what happened that followed, we very nearly bailed on this state. He’s still not all that happy that we didn’t and I don’t think he’ll come to Florida often once he’s fully on his own after college. I’ve been a wreck this season (hurricane, that is). Eating constantly, poring over hurricane tracks constantly, not sleeping, not working out. And nothing really THAT bad happened to me.

I don’t have many — or, really, any — details on what Michael’s done out west to the 1A-1 and 2A-1 coverage area. I know Tallahassee is climbing back toward recovery. West of that? Not so much. I have seen photos and videos, like so many of you. I’ve seen war zones that looked less blown up.

I know there have been efforts to go out and help. Clay Allen and Florida High sent a delegation just very recently. But Panama City…Marianna…Wewahitchka…and perhaps other places I’ve not heard from yet…all very much in a difficult place right now. A place that I, even as a fellow hurricane disaster survivor and at one time made homeless by one, have not been.

What happens out there, on a wrestling front, isn’t quite a wilderness to me, but it sort of is. I don’t know what the state of play is regarding half the coaches in the coverage area, who’s staying, who’s going, and it’s usually the one area where I have to chase the most results once the season begins. But right now, the people in that area aren’t worrying so much about who beat whom at what weight at districts last year, and whether that guy in Jacksonville is EVER going to make a trip out to cover their tournament.

They’re worried about when the next water truck will show up. If a neighbor can help them clear trees. If (insert Panhandle electric company name here) will fix the power lines. When their insurance company will help them get back on their feet again.

I’d urge you to donate your time, donate your resources. Both good things.

In the meantime, wrestling will still be here; it will still go on (eventually). I’ve already heard that Border Wars is going to be staged as planned. Walton County didn’t get hit as badly. And we are still here to write about whatever happens. Even if we have to chase it down.

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#NextLevel: Wright Kicks Off Season With Eagles

Life University women’s wrestler Zoe Wright (Gulf Breeze ’14), a graduate student at Life, had her first weekend of intercollegiate competition this past weekend, competing at the Lion Duals and Emmanuel Open, held Friday and Saturday respectively at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA.


Zoe Wright

Wright, as well as the Eagles, was 3-1 in Friday’s duals competition. Her first match was her only loss on Friday, as she bumped up a weight to 155 and lost by technical fall to 2018 Florida girls state champion Ana Luciano, formerly of Osceola and now at King University, 10-0. The Eagles won that dual, 23-20.

Wright next rallied for an 11-0 tech fall at 143 against Emmanuel Gold’s Juliana Padilla, but her team dropped a narrow loss, 23-21. The rest of the day was about winning for both Wright and the Eagles. She teched Tiffin’s Taylor Hites, 12-2, at 155 as her team won by a 35-12 count, and closed out the day with a fall over Emmanuel Red’s Passion Hollins in 1:13, with the Eagles winning 33-15 in the dual to place second.

In the IBT competition on Saturday, Wright placed fifth at 143, with a quarterfinal 10-7 decision over Lion Wrestling Club’s Ophelia Lara. She then fell to eventual weight-class champion Ashlynn Ortega of King, 6-2, in the semis, and took a loss by fall in 3:24 in the consi semis  to UAB’s Haley Heffel. Her last match of the day was a 12-0 tech in the fifth-place match over Adrian College’s Mackenzie Malta.

The next competition for Wright and the Lions will be a Mid-South Conference dual opener at home against Brewton-Parker this coming Saturday.

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Some Updates

Communications. We’re going to send out our third “blast” email to coaches on Friday. Obviously, I’m not at all sure that the west Florida coaches will see it before the weekend. It won’t necessarily touch on things I’d need immediately. Other than schedules, and they know I need them when they complete them.

Coaches. Think I have a handle on most positions. I don’t know who is coaching at Choctaw or Niceville yet. New programs, like Baldwin, I don’t have a name yet.

Schedules. Looking at Facebook memories from a year ago, I’m about 30% ahead of where we were last year, but I know we always want to have more. We’re seeing updates to schedules, additional dates being added (like, for example, district duals dates being finalized).

#NextLevel and JH/youth. We have posted a #NextLevel schedule and added a significant update. There’s one Division I wrestler whose dates I’ve added to my text-file form, but not to the site yet. He’ll be on the next update, but I’d like to see some more schools get 2018-19 rosters up before I update this page again. We have one junior high schedule, but only Florida High’s — none from the Suwannee/Columbia area, and none from Clay County.

TurkeyNWrestling. Comes out Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m. Even though it’s looking like, for the first time in a while, that I’ll be here in Jax, the preview still comes out. November 22. We’ve got two previews within the 11-story preview package completed, and are about to start the digging on a third one.

Offseason. We’ll still post your October dates as “offseason” — I think I have all of the remaining ones that are being contested within the coverage area, please let me know if I’m missing something — but once we go over to November and practice has begun, that page will be moved off the site.

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#TheCalendar2018-19: Ed White – 35 TO GO

We have our 40th set of dates from the Jacksonville area, as Ed White’s came in via email today. It’s our fourth team from 2A-District 3. Not expecting to hear from anybody west of Columbia for several days. Prayers up for those folks, as you’re reading it please. This is an all-timer intense hurricane ripping through there.

Ed White begins the regular season with a short hop over to nearby rival Bishop Snyder for its two-day IBT, the Westside Kiwanis Invitational on December 7-8. There’ll be another two-day event starting on the 14th for Ed White, as they’ll compete in the two-day Panther Prowl duals tournament hosted by Ridgeview on the 14th and 15th. December will wrap up with a road trip to southern Georgia and Valdosta’s Elite 32 tournament on the 21st and 22nd (not sure whether that’s duals, roundrobin or IBT; my guess is IBT).

In January, the Commanders will begin with a return to Episcopal and its one-day IBT, the Rob Bierbaum Invitational, on the 5th. The second weekend will see Ed White go out to Yulee for the Hornets’ two-day IBT, the Battle of the Border, on the 11th and 12th. Gateway Conference, hosted by Sandalwood, will be next on the docket for the Commanders on the 18th and 19th, and they’ll conclude the month with another Georgia trip, this one to the Camden Callout on the 25th and 26th.

There’s just one regular-season event on Ed White’s calendar for February, as they’ll wrestle in the Green Cove Springs Rotary, a two-day IBT hosted by Clay on February 8-9.

We’ve got 40 in hand. Which team will be NEXT??

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